When Samsung launched its flagship Galaxy S7 smartphones, one of the features its advertising focused on was the water-resistance of the devices. But it turns out that the third variant of the model, the Galaxy S7 Active, does not stand up to the company’s claims.
Samsung says all the three variants of its flagship — Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy S7 Active — are compliant with IP68, an engineering standard that covers protection against both dust and water. Specifically, all three devices are supposed to withstand immersion in 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
The company illustrated the point, in typical over-the-top advertising fashion, using champagne and Lil Wayne.
However, when nonprofit rating and testing group Consumer Reports tested that claim for the Galaxy S7 Active — the latest variant of the smartphone that launched in the U.S. last month, exclusively with AT&T, with a price tag of $795 for the 32GB version — the otherwise tough phone failed. Twice.
The testers dunked a phone in water with the same pressure as about 5 feet of water, and when taken out 30 minutes later, the device’s screen was not working. A second phone subjected to the same test also came up with a defective screen. Water was also found in both the front and rear camera lenses, as well as in the SIM card slot of one of the phones. The phones did not return to normal functionality even after many days.
In response to the reports, Samsung said the Galaxy S7 Active was “one of the most rugged phones to date” and added that “there may be an off-chance that a defective device is not as watertight as it should be.” Saying it has received “very few complaints” about the issue, the company also said it was investigating the matter.
Both the other versions, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, passed the same test.